Chia seeds have a long and interesting history. The crop is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala, and scientists believe that this tiny seed was a big deal for early indigenous peoples. The word ‘chia’ is said to mean strength in the Mayan language. It’s been theorized that Mayans and Aztecs used it to energize warriors during battle. Very cool.
Nowadays you’ll find chia seeds in most health food and grocery stores, fuelling the bravest of weekend warriors. Why give it a try? Studies have shown evidence of positive health effects including boosting energy, stabilizing blood sugar, aiding in digestion and lowering cholesterol. This tiny seed also packs a big nutritional profile including Calcium, Manganese, and Phosphorus.
Need a few more reasons to add some chia to your daily diet?
Chia seeds are a rich source of Omega-3 (1 oz has about 5 grams). They can be a helpful addition to your diet if you’re concerned with maintaining healthy brain function.
Chia seeds also are full of fiber, keeping your digestive tract running happily and smoothly (1 oz has about 11 grams). The soluble fiber in chia seeds can slow down the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar, which can help prevent that afternoon crash many of us are familiar with. So it’s safe to say chia seeds are a great food to help you battle through your day.
These little seeds have something else you may not be familiar with, and that’s tryptophan. This amino acid has been shown to regulate appetite, sleep and improve mood.
Bone health is something we all need to consider and chia seeds have some of the special building blocks for strong bones. First of all a 1 oz serving of chia seeds contains 18% of your recommended intake of calcium.
Adding chia seeds to your daily diet can be as simple as sprinkling it on salads, oatmeal, toast or even adding it to a smoothie. Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds can be eaten whole or milled and still get the all the health benefits.